Working Class Author

It was on this date, 2 March, that journalist and author Philip Bonosky died. Phillip Bonosky was born in 1916 to Lithuanian immigrant parents in Duquesne, Pennsylvania, in the heart of the coal and steel industry. Along with his father and brother, he would work in the Duquesne Steel Works. During the great depression, he rode the rails to Washington, DC and was hired by the Works Progress Administration’s (WPA) Federal Writer’s Project to help write the Guide to Washington D.C. Bonosky served as president of the D.C. section of the Workers Alliance, chief advocate for the government to meet the needs of the unemployed in finding jobs, and acquiring housing, food, and health care. He led a delegation to meet with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in 1940, widely reported in the local press. A well-known activist in the city, he spoke at demonstrations and testified before Congress. His novels, ‘Burning Valley’ and ‘The Magic Fern’ are available in campus libraries.